Donna Downs | Passing Encouragement Through the Years

Document created by Sara Jo Lee on Mar 18, 2020
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Donna Downs shares what drives her to achieve more.
My Journey to #AchieveMore
As a youngster, I had no idea that going to college was even a possibility. No one in my family had gone, and it wasn't a topic of discussion until one day my high school English teacher asked me which college I was considering. My response was that I wasn't going to college. "Oh, yes, you are!" he exclaimed. Today I am teaching college. Inspiration from Mr. Beckley showed me how important it is to instill hope in young people, which is exactly what drives my commitment to the work I do as a university faculty member. Every day I am motivated to achieve more in regard to leading students in their desire to learn, think critically and care well. As I teach them subject matter, I also seek to exemplify what a woman of character looks like and serve as a role model, a servant leader who stretches them to think, work and care for others with excellence in the forefront of their minds. Creating relationships and memorable moments with my students inspires and encourages them. Even today I am still in touch with Mrs. Karl, my eighth grade English teacher, who also stirred me toward hope and a brighter future. She encouraged me to write poetry, and today she is still one of my biggest fans. The impact teachers have on their students cannot be measured; my desire is to influence students to become people who inspire others as well. The idea of "each one reach one" is an important concept, as each of us can positively influence the world one by one. Hope of making a real difference leads me to walk into the classroom prepared and ready to instill hope in young minds and hearts, much as my teachers have done for me in my life.

What Drives You to #AchieveMore?